Sen. Whitehouse Remarks on Dark Money and the DISCLOSE Act

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I pick up where Senator Van Hollen left off because, when he was fighting for the DISCLOSE Act in the House, I was the manager of that bill on the floor here in the Senate. It would do something very simple. If you are spending more than $10,000 in an election, we ought to know who you are. That is pretty easy. It is not going to rope in lots of small donors. It will get the big interests who are out there trying to control our democracy and hide who they are whil… Continue Reading


Nomination of Debra Anne Haaland

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I am here to say a few words on behalf of Deb Haaland to be Secretary of the Interior. There is something wonderfully beautiful and symmetrical about her appointment to this position because of the Department of the Interior's role supervising America's public lands. Well, of course, before America's public lands were America's public lands, they were Native American lands, and Deb Haaland will be the first Native American to serve in any President's Cabinet and… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 279: Finale

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I am particularly glad to see the senior Senator from New Mexico presiding on what, for me, is a sentimental moment, because he has been such a terrific friend and colleague and advocate in the battle of climate change. I am here today because, at last, it is time to say farewell to my battered ``Time to Wake Up'' image board here and to a run of more than 275 weekly climate speeches. It has been one of the Senate's longer runs, I believe, but I think it is time t… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 278: Save Our Seas Act 2.0 Colloquy

Madam President, while Senator Grassley is on the floor, I would thank him for his remarks about the First Step Act and let him know that on the Judiciary Committee, I look forward to working with him to continue to advance that. As the Senate knows, the Grassley-Durbin segment and the Cornyn- Whitehouse segment were the two key pieces of that bill, and it is terrific to hear the Senator and our chairman at the time chose support to continue that work. So I am grateful. What I would like to do… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 277: Donors Trust

Mr. President, I mentioned recently in one of these speeches that an identity-laundering group called Donors Trust decided to do a letter to the editor of my home State paper asserting that they were just as innocent as newborn lambs. The Center for Media and Democracy has recently obtained the IRS form 990 for calendar 2019 for this little lamb, Donors Trust, and it has some fascinating findings. Donors Trust took in a total of $312 million in donations in 2019-- nearly a third of a billion d… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 276: Another Peek Into the Web of Denial

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, today is my 276th climate speech, and my increasingly battered graphic is showing its wear, but for the first time in a really, really long time, there is real hope for climate action in America. The light of science will shine in a Biden administration. Our U.S. Government will heed actual data. Agencies will act on facts. The White House will care about the harm carbon pollution does right now across the country. President Biden will restore the EPA to its role … Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 275: Georgia on My Mind

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, it is timely that I should be giving my ``Time to Wake Up'' speech with the distinguished Senator from Louisiana presiding because I am going to be talking about sea level rise, and seeing him in the chair reminds me of a recent report on what sea level rise is doing to the great State of Louisiana, ``the sportsman's paradise,'' in which a scientist from Tulane University--a Tulane University geologist--was asked about the report about what the State had to look fo… Continue Reading


TIme to Wake Up 274: Glimmer of Light

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, as I begin my remarks, let me thank my friend Senator Lankford for his eloquent comments about our veterans and those who have served and given their lives for us. I am here with my trusty and battered "Time to Wake up" graphic because, after 4 dark years on climate, there is at last a glimmer of light on the horizon. President-Elect Biden has promised to redirect the executive branch to address climate change in the clear light of real science, out of the dark… Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse Remarks in the Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting to Nominate Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court

Mr. Chairman, I'll try to be brief. Let me first say how surprised I am that Senator Kennedy finds us all interesting, because I have operated under the principle for many years that everybody from Louisiana is more interesting than I am. I would like to associate myself, just for the sake of time particularly, with the remarks of Senator Blumenthal, who spoke in a way that I thought was very true and eloquent and does not need my repetition. I do want to suggest to colleagues that the rule of… Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse Remarks on Day 3 of Judge Barrett's Confirmation Hearing

WHITEHOUSE: Thank you, Chairman. Judge Barrett. BARRETT: Senator. WHITEHOUSE: First, if I may, Chairman, let me ask unanimous consent that an essay I wrote for the Harvard Journal of Legislation called Dark Money and U.S. Courts be admitted to the record. GRAHAM: Without objection. WHITEHOUSE: That a report that some Democrats prepared called Captured Courts be admitted to the record, and that an article by Christopher Leonard of the New York Times called Charles Koch's Big Bet on Barrett, d… Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse Questioning on Day 2 of Judge Barrett's Confirmation Hearing

WHITEHOUSE: Thank you, Chairman. Judge Barrett, you can take a bit of a breather on your return to the committee because what I want to do is go through, with the people who are watching this now, the conversation that you and I had when we spoke on the telephone. You were kind enough to hear out a presentation that I made, and I intend to ask some questions in that area, but it doesn't make sense to ask questions if I haven't laid the predicate, particularly for viewers who are watching this. … Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up 273: Change the Chamber

Mr. President, I am back again, thee and me once again together, to discuss climate change as unprecedented wildfires scorch the west coast and a deadly hurricane season turns in the Atlantic and Americans cry out for action. Powerful players outside this Chamber hear that cry, including, recently, over 200 CEOs of major American corporations who form the Business Roundtable. Here are some of the 200 companies represented by those CEOs. As I discussed last week, the Business Roundtable just ea… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Business Roundtable vs. Corporate Inaction

Mr. President, this is a ``Time to Wake Up'' good news-bad news speech. The good news from last week is on business community support for carbon pricing. What is carbon pricing? Well, remember that IMF--the International Monetary Fund--pegs the fossil fuel subsidy in the United States at more than $600 billion per year, so the energy market is dramatically tilted to favor fossil fuels. Carbon pricing helps set that right, helps make an even playing field. It is economics 101. And carbon pricing… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Recent Reports

Mr./Mdm. President, I rise for the 271st time to call this chamber's attention to two reports on the defining issue of our generation. As I speak, wildfires devour the American West, and consume American lives: in East of Salem, Oregon, two people dead in a scorched vehicle; in Butte County, California, three dead, overrun by a fast-moving fire; in Ashland, a 1-year-old boy; almost the entire town of Malden, Washington burned down. Half a million Oregonians evacuated due to fire; one out of ten… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Ocean Warnings

Mr./Mdm. President, I rise today for the 270th time to call this chamber to action on the issue of climate change. The world is in the clutches of a pandemic disease that touches, directly or indirectly, virtually every human being on the face of the earth. It is costing us in lives, money, and immeasurable human pain. It didn't have to be this way. We could have been better prepared. President Trump was left a detailed playbook from his predecessor, but he ignored it. Trump did away with key … Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse Condemns Pres. Trump's Disrespectful Comments About Veterans

Mr. President, I am honored to join Senator Duckworth in supporting this proposal. It gives me great pride to serve in the Senate with her. She is the living embodiment of the kind of sacrifice that our President does not understand. There are two things here, though, that are very wrong. One is a President who thinks that the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who have laid down their lives for this country are ``suckers'' and ``losers'' and that it is OK to say that about them. It is beyo… Continue Reading


Sen. Whitehouse on the Nursing Home COVID-19 Protection and Prevention Act

Mr. President, I am grateful to have the chance to follow my friend from Pennsylvania, who has shown such great leadership with respect to healthcare and particularly with respect to the nursing home population. I am delighted to join him to discuss what COVID is doing to the elder Americans who are in our nursing homes and long-term care facilities, because this illness has swept like a savage scythe through those facilities. In my small State of Rhode Island, 750 residents of long-term care f… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Same Crew

Mr. President, I am here today for a different topic. I am here for the 269th time with my increasingly battered ``Time to Wake Up'' poster to try to alert this Chamber to the threat of climate change--something, obviously, Louisiana knows very well--and to the forces that are blocking action on climate. In these climate speeches, I have talked often about the insidious encroachment on American Government of special interest power, which is what is behind all this climate denial and obstruction… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: Blaring Economic Alarms

Mr./Mdm. President, I rise today, for number 268, to urge colleagues here in the Senate: wake up, and see the looming danger we face from climate change. Look at recent climate effects in our Southern Hemisphere. The most devastating wildfires anyone can remember have ripped across Australia, burned more than a fifth of Australia's forests, destroying thousands of homes, killing an estimated 1 billion animals, and making a day of breathing air in Sydney like smoking 37 cigarettes. In the oce… Continue Reading


Time to Wake Up: The Chamber Knew

Mr./Mdm. President, I am here today for the 267th time to call this chamber to wake up to the threat of climate change. Let me dive right in with a report from over 30 years ago that was presented to a major conference here in Washington, D.C. On the first page, it reads: Increases in atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other key gases . . . that are opaque to portions of the infrared spectrum result in the "greenhouse effect" or global warming. When short wavelength infrare… Continue Reading

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